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“Excellent organisation by the team. Very impactful informative and highly professional”

The first ACE Conference since 2019, which was held in Hinckley, Leicestershire was a big success according to Conference delegates and exhibitors.

Read the full report here and, for registered users only, click here access the presentations from the event.

“The Woolard Review - A review of change and innovation in the unsecured credit market” https://www.fca.org.uk/.../corp.../woolard-review-report.pdf
Recommendation 8 of the FCA’s “Woolard Review - A review of change and innovation in the unsecured credit market” says that: “Credit unions offer an important alternative to high-cost credit and enable wider financial inclusion. To fully realise their potential there is a case for removing some of the current restrictions on their activities. The FCA should work with the Bank of England, Treasury and Northern Irish government to set the timetable on updating the Credit Unions Act 1979 and Credit Unions (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 to allow credit unions to expand their product offering.”
ACE is currently working with the other UK trade bodies to influence the Regulatory changes.

At the ACE Virtual AGM on the 18th November 2020, Alan Robson announced that he would be stepping down as ACE Chair although he remains as an ACE Director. At our first Board meeting on the 9th December 2020 the Board thanked Alan on behalf of the members for his  dedicated service as Chair of ACE over the past few years.

As of the 9th December Dorothy Brown and Angela Fishwick were voted into the position of Chair and Vice-Chair respectfully. Chair – Dorothy Brown MBE – Dorothy has been involved in Clivey Credit Union (Swindon) since 1992 and has held several roles supporting credit unions in that time both in a paid and voluntary capacity. She has been associated with ACE for the past 15 years both as a supporter and a director.

Vice -Chair – Angela Fishwick – Chief Executive of Unify Credit Union based in the north west of England and serving 10,000 members.  Angela has been involved with credit unions for nearly 20 years and is a recent addition to the ACE board, having been in post for a couple of years.  Angela is committed to ensuring that ACE provides the services members need.



Interesting article in The Guardian about the possibility of banks implementing negative interest rates.

The impact on credit unions is not likely to be massive as we have all got used to managing with very low rates of return on our deposits. Negative interest rates could result in credit unions having to pay banks to hold their money in a savings account.

This article suggests that moving to negative rates is unlikely unless the economy fails to make the predicted recovery in the latter part of  2021. The Bank's Governor Andrew Bailey has said: "there is a difference between having negative rates as part of the toolkit and actually using them".

Members Concerns
Following the Guardian story, some of our unions raised the following concerns.

1. "Fall in income from bank deposits will impact on ability to pay a dividend"
2. "Attract more savers to credit unions meaning that we have more money deposited in the banks"

The first ever virtual ACE AGM, which was held on the 18th November 2020, attracted 15 out of 24 ACE members. Representing members from England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands the AGM formally approved the 2019-2020 annual accounts and elected 10 new and existing directors for 2020-2021. At the meeting Alan Robson said that he would be standing down as Chair of ACE but that he would continue as an ACE director. The new Chair of ACE will be appointed at the December 2020 Board meeting. The meeting gave big thank you to Alan for his excellent work as Chair of ACE over the past 5 years. Alan said that he hoped that more ACE members would nominate somebody to represent their credit union on the ACE Board as there were still 4 vacancies. ACE CEO said that after some technical delays the revised ACE Model Rulebook was now close to being approved by the FCA. There was a brief discussion about the 2021 ACE Conference that could possibly be delayed again depending on the length of time that the Covid-19 pandemic continues.

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